Mr. Snickerdoodle recently decided that he's going to live to be 100, so we're cutting down on the meat around here, . After being introduced to Erin's lentil tacos recipe, I've started looking for other recipes in which a lentils substitution would be passable.
Shepherd's pie is one of our go-to casseroles here in the Snickerdoodle household. It's cheap, easy, and I usually make two at a time: one for now and one to be frozen for when we're busy busy.
Yes, it's humble. No, it's not foodie food. But it feeds the masses and that's what counts with a house full of little ones. And now it feeds the masses with less fat and more fiber!
Lentil Shepherd's Pie
3/4 c. lentils (rinsed and checked for debris)
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. beef base (or maybe vegetable base if you are a real vegetarian)
1 quart water
1 can cream of tomato soup (not reconstituted)
3 cups (or however much you want) of your favorite vegetables-- we use frozen green beansand corn. If you're using fresh veggies, you'll probably want to precook them.
4 cups (or more if you feel like it!) of mashed potatoes
CHEESE!!! (if you want it, grated-- cheddar is our shepherd's pie cheese of choice)
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Saute the onions until soft and translucent, add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add lentils, water and beef base and cook until the lentils are tender. (30-40 minutes) Combine cooked lentils and tomato soup concentrate.
Place vegetables in a medium sized casserole dish (mine is 2.75 quarts). Pour the lentil mixture over the veggies, and spread mashed potatoes over the lentils. Top with grated cheese-- 3/4 c. suits us just fine. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the vegetables are heated through.
The verdict: Split. I actually prefer this version. Mr. Snickerdoodle prefers the original-- it's a texture thing for him.